Today we had the honor of meeting with a young couple who is pursuing a move to the Czech Republic within the next couple of years. Don and Kristen champion the local church and are eager to help grow and plant churches in a largely unchurched context. Since CZE is often rated as the world’s most atheistic nation, it fits the bill.
Over lunch we answered the question, “What are you doing here?” We get this almost once a day and so we have a 30-second response or a 3-hour response, depending on the asker. We told Don and Kristen our quick answer, “We’re here to grow the local church.” And then we expanded with a longer answer: we’d love to plant an international church in Brno. We desire to do that while locking arms with Czech Christians, as well as Christians who hale from other nations, but live in Brno. We imagine this church would attract young adults from the massive college and business populations here in our city. Our heart is that it would be a missional community that changes this region for time and eternity.
After a great conversation over lunch we took them on a brief walk through our city center. The architecture in Brno is beautiful, with spots of functional gray squares from the communist era sprinkled in. Below you can see the old Brno Town Hall (don’t miss the crocodile in the background--he’s a central personality here!), one of my favorite buildings held up by statues (actually called the house of four idiots), and our town’s astronomical clock, which is an anomaly to one and all, spits out a marble everyday at 11am and looks like a big bullet.
After we dropped off our visitors at the train station we headed home so the girls could play with their friends from school who also live in our neighborhood. We allowed Zoe and Abby to head off on their bikes to meet their friends at Bosonohy’s sports field and playground. After awhile Hannah and I headed to the same location so I could spy on them, I mean so Hannah could play with them too. We found that Bosonohy’s (soccer) football team was engaged in a heated match and around 100 people were out to cheer them on. The kids played games on the neighboring tennis court and playground, while the adults enjoyed some Starobrno beer and yelled their hearts out from the sideline. It felt like a quintessential European afternoon and a sweet opportunity for my kids to grow friendships and for us to see our neighbors out and about.
While we girls were there, Mark was sermon prepping and basketball playing. His upcoming sermon will be focused on seeing Jesus throughout the entire Bible and he is really enjoying reading Jesus on Every Page in preparation for his message. On the basketball court today he met men from Dominican Republic, Norway, Portugal, Peru, Greece, and Romania--this is truly an international city!
We are wrapping up this Week with Oshmanovi like rockstars: I’m blogging, Mark is reading Andrew Peterson's North! or Be Eaten to the kids, and we have a hot date to do our Czech homework in about a half-hour.
I want to say thank you to those of you who joined us each day for the past week--you must truly love us if you were willing to walk through our oft mundane normal life. Please come visit us in the flesh--your presence here would give us so much life and we would promise to pause the normalcy for a moment and show you around this beautiful nation.